Cité de l’énergie* and Shawinigan-2 Generating Station ($)

Tour a unique century-old facility. Not all its generators use the same technology: some have a horizontal axis and others a vertical axis. It’s part of Québec’s hydropower heritage—a real gem!

* Cité de l’énergie is a Hydro-Québec partner Frequently asked questions The following content is not accessible
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Download the Tour Rallies app

Get the new Tour Rallies app to plan your visit. Discover the permanent exhibition on the Northern Aluminium Company and the Cité de l’énergie historic sector with your friends and family.

An enchanting trip back in time

Relive the adventure of the last 100 years of industrial development in the Mauricie region through the history of the hydropower and aluminum.

Be sure to climb to the top of the lookout tower, as tall as a 38-storey building. You’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of spectacular scenery.

You’ll also want to visit Shawinigan-2 generating station, one of Hydro-Québec’s oldest power plants still operating.

Visit Cité de l’énergie’s Web site

This site is managed by Cité de l’Énergie de Shawinigan, and Hydro-Québec is its partner.

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Did you know?

Shining example of Canadian engineering

Shawinigan-2 generating station is one of Canada’s top 25 engineering achievements of the 20th century.

Horizontal or vertical?

Shawinigan-2’s eight generating units aren’t all the same: five have a horizontal axis and three a vertical axis.

Oldest plant

Shawinigan-2 is the oldest hydropower generating station in Québec still in operation.

History of the generating station

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Question from: Pierre, Montréal

Answer from: Martine, tour guide at Shawinigan-2 generating station

How is Shawinigan-2 generating station different from the others?
Shawinigan-2 was built in phases, and the technology changed in between. That’s why some of the generating units are horizontal and the others are vertical. Which means that the employees have to be versatile, with a range of knowledge and skills.

Question from: Julianne, Trois-Rivières

Answer from: Marie-Catherine, tour guide at Shawinigan-2 generating station

Why should the horizontal generating units be kept running all winter?
The penstocks that channel the water from the Rivière Saint-Maurice to the horizontal generating units are above ground, making them more susceptible to the cold. To prevent the formation of frazil or ice, the generating units have to be kept running throughout the winter.

Question from: Simon, Shawinigan

Answer from: Martine, tour guide at Shawinigan-2 generating station

How many people work at Shawinigan-2 generating station?
Shawinigan-2 and Shawinigan-3 are on the same site. A technical and administrative staff of nearly 40 employees keep them both running.

Follow the guides!

Our guides know what they’re talking about. They’ve been specially trained to make sure you have a rewarding experience that meets your expectations. They’ll be delighted to tailor your tour to match the goal you have in mind and the profile of your group.

Our interactive educational tours are full of facts and most of them are fun for the entire family. Don’t be shy about asking questions: our guides are very knowledgeable. Your curiosity will be satisfied!

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School tours

School tours

Cité de l’énergie welcomes groups for an energetic outing.

Visit the Cité de l’énergie Web site for information about group packages.

Pre-visit preparation

Hydro-Québec offers quality teaching resources to help you explain various concepts related to electricity, such as sustainability, energy efficiency, the environment and safety.

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Very interesting and friendly guides. Thank you!

Commentaires de visiteurs

Voir plus de commentaires
Visit of the generating station = fascinating.
It was pretty cool to see the facilities.
Really well organized. Interesting experiences for everyone: children + adults alike.
A must-see to understand Québec and its regions, their place in history and development and the province’s ability to create.
It’s the only place where we can see generating units with a horizontal axis.

Schedule and practical information

Schedule and practical information


There is an admission charge for the Cité de l’énergie, a Hydro-Québec partner.

There is no extra charge to tour Shawinigan-2 generating station.

Reservation required.

Summer Schedule

June 11 to September 25, 2022

Daily: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Length of tour (Shawinigan-2 generating station)

Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes

Group schedule

Cité de l’énergie offers group visits year-round. Reservations required.

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What you should know

The tour of Shawinigan-2 generating station is part of an exploration of the historic Cité de l’énergie area.

ID card

ID required

Visitors aged 18 years and over must present official photo ID (medicare card, driver’s licence or passport) to tour a facility.

Time of arrival

Tours start at regular intervals.


The tour is recommended for school-aged children but not for children under the age of two, for safety reasons.


Flat, closed shoes are recommended.


Tours are on foot and include some stairs.

Notice to pacemaker users

Notice to pacemaker users

The electromagnetic fields in power plants may disrupt pacemaker operation. As a precaution, pacemaker users will not be allowed during the part of the guided tour that takes place in the generating station.

Need more information? Check out the frequently asked questions.

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  • Picnic area
  • Free parking
  • Gift shop
  • Partially accessible to persons with a physical impairment
  • Restrooms

Information and reservations

1 866 900-2483
819 536-8516

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How to get there

Cité de l’Énergie and Shawinigan-2 generating station

1000, avenue Melville
Shawinigan (Québec)
G9N 6T9

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Other sights in the area

To find out about other activities or plan your trip to the area, go to Qué

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